Category Archives: Dystopian Books

$.99 Dystopian Book Feature and Interview: Lesedi by Roland Hughes


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Fiction, Dystopian, Science Fiction


lesedi

Release Date: 2/14/17

Lesedi – in his country his name means ‘the light’ though he has never chosen to walk in it. A man who has been driven by duty to himself now finds he must carry out one final duty for a country which isn’t even his. He has finally learned the meaning of a phrase he had uttered much of his life “sucks to be you.”

This book is both stand alone and the middle work of the “Earth That Was” trilogy. “Infinite Exposure” and “John Smith – Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars” are the beginning and end. It was written in response to fans wanting a bit more of “the story in between.”

The first wave of nuclear attacks from both terrorists and governments has happened though the general public has yet to figure it out, most are too busy trying to survive to bother figuring it out. The predicted extinction of all life did not happen possibly because many of the first attack detonations occurred at our own nuclear power plants.

Follow his journey and those of the survivors he meets along the way to see if the Universe allows them a brief bit of happiness or chooses to squash them like a bug.

Buy this new release on Smashwords for only $.99!

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Excerpt:

“The morality of rational self-interest?” questioned Katie.

“Good,” said Lesedi.

“Good what?” questioned one of the boys from the back.

“She recognizes the two things are diametrically opposed,” answered Lesedi. “Rational self-interest is never moral. Many call it ‘Me and My Syndrome’ because your only interest is in yourself and your family, but, mostly yourself. It is exactly what you see right now. Looting, raping, and murder. Living for the moment and your own benefit without fear of consequences or consideration of any other living being. Are any of you aware of what the plaque on the Statue of Liberty says?”

“Something about your tired and poor,” said one of the boys.

“Huddled masses,” said the other.

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door,” quoted Lesedi. He drove in silence for a while until Katie finally spoke up, “You memorized that?”

“When I arrived in this country I went to that island and sat staring in wonder at that statue every Sunday, weather and schedule permitting for the first year,” answered Lesedi. “Part of my job was to figure out how a country that had spent nearly two centuries not only living up to that quote but showing the world how to do things right could turn into such a piece of shit in a short span of time. Don’t get me wrong, my government had no intention of fixing the problem. They simply wanted to avoid it happening to our home. We have recently come out of Apartheid and could not risk a downward spiral into the septic tank America has become.”

“Could we stay on just one topic,” asked the boy sitting behind Katie.

“It is all one topic,” responded Lesedi after taking a drink of water. After another drink he said, “It just took me a long time to figure out. I’m not surprised you are confused. I had to spend a lot of Sunday afternoons sitting on an island staring at the Statue of Liberty to put it all together. The people who follow ‘rational self-interest’ shit on that statue with every breath they take. I’m sorry, but there is no polite way to put it. America became a septic tank because it is no longer run by Americans.”

“So you are saying foreign governments have taken over,” asked Katie.

“No,” answered Lesedi. “I’m saying America is no longer run by Americans. They were born here, but they are not Americans. For nearly two centuries America not only lived up to that quote, nearly every American believed it. Today, most people born here don’t even know the quote exists so they do not know ‘rational self-interest’ is diametrically opposed to being an American. I am told the followers of this belief think you should never give a meal to a starving man or child. You should never throw a coin in a beggar’s cup, and, most offensively, the government has no responsibility to ensure the welfare of its people.”


About the Author:

roland hughes

Roland Hughes started his IT career in the early 1980s. He quickly became a consultant and president of Logikal Solutions, a software consulting firm specializing in OpenVMS application and C++/Qt touchscreen/embedded Linux development. Early in his career he became involved in what is now called cross platform development. Given the dearth of useful books on the subject he ventured into the world of professional author in 1995 writing the first of the “Zinc It!” book series for John Gordon Burke Publisher, Inc.

A decade later he released a massive (nearly 800 pages) tome “The Minimum You Need to Know to Be an OpenVMS Application Developer” which tried to encapsulate the essential skills gained over what was nearly a 20 year career at that point. From there “The Minimum You Need to Know” book series was born.

Three years later he wrote his first novel “Infinite Exposure” which got much notice from people involved in the banking and financial security worlds. Some of the attacks predicted in that book have since come to pass. While it was not originally intended to be a trilogy, it became the first book of “The Earth That Was” trilogy:

When he is not consulting Roland Hughes posts about technology and sometimes politics on his blog. He also has regularly scheduled Sunday posts appearing on the Interesting Authors blog.

The Minimum You Need to Know l Infinite Exposure l John Smith Book l Logikal Blog l Interesting Authors Blog l Lesedi


Interview:

*Thanks for doing an interview! Could you tell our readers a little bit about your writing journey?

I had a grandmother and a great aunt who encouraged me to write letters as a young child. We didn’t have personal computers back then. You had to use pen on paper then put a stamp on an envelop. That lead to writing a few stories in school. At some point early in my IT consulting career the bug bit me again and I wrote 2 geek books for a publisher, not an experience I would recommend to anyone.

Once I had been working in IT for roughly 20 years the writing bug bit me again and I wrote the first of “The Minimum You Need to Know” book series. Quite a few books into that I wrote my first novel, “Infinite Exposure” which is the first book in what has now become a trilogy.

*How many books do you currently have published?

Counting the 2 written for that publisher which are now no longer in print, a dozen.

*What has been your favorite book to write so far?

The one I’m writing now.

*Why?

If that ever stops being the case it is time to stop writing for a while.

*Are you currently working on a book? Will this be your next release?

Yes, I’m writing “The Phallus of Agile and Other Ruminations.” It is an offshoot of my “The Minimum You Need to Know” book series based mostly on the Ruminations chapters found at the end of those books. I plan on it being my next release but currently only have 120 pages completed so it will be a while. I guessed it would weigh in around 400 pages when completed but too early to tell. I thought my OpenVMS application developer book would weigh in around 800 pages but it tipped the scales around 800 when it was complete.

*What do you enjoy most about writing?

The satisfaction heard in the voices, at least with the fictional work. Every writer compelled to write fiction is just a wee bit insane. Characters appear in your thoughts and the ones which get written about are the ones which simply refuse to leave you alone until their story is told.

When it comes to my geek books the satisfaction comes from different places. For some, like the OpenVMS application developer book, it was the journey down memory lane. Reliving what, at that point, was a 20 year career on the platform and putting the important stuff in one place so even old age couldn’t take it from me. When I’m writing for a completely new area it is the journey of exploration. Those books are a natural result of the notes taken during the journey being organized into a coherent form.

*Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with it?

I have periods when I do not feel like writing, but not writers block as most think of it. There are times when the thoughts are there but they fail in translation. By that I mean I have trouble keying them into a word processor. For that I have a simple solution. A stack of old and very different keyboards. They range from an original IBM PS/2 to Compaq to a rash of generics. The size of the return key, backspace, etc. are all a bit different as is the typing experience going from mechanical to membrane to whatever. The simple process of re-learning how to type on them gets the mental muscle working correctly again. Most of those keyboards I didn’t pay over $6 for. Many were free discards from client sites as they were tossing out old equipment.

*Have you ever had one of your characters to take a twist you weren’t expecting and surprise you?

Always. I write the story as the characters tell it to me. I’m not an outliner writing to some preordained formula.

*Which of your characters is your personal favorite? Least favorite? Why?

I don’t really have a least favorite. I have bit characters who only had a tiny portion of the story to tell me, but I don’t have any I disliked writing about.

Of all the characters whose stories I have transcribed I think I liked John Smith the most, but not because he is a likable character. The Universe screwed him before he was born and he carried the burden. People who only lightly skim John Smith see a cranky old man who is an egotistical know it all, kind of like Gregory House of the House television series, but, without the endearing qualities. People who read the story closely realize by all rights, he should have been insane.

Perhaps it is simply because those characters are the most persistent voices, but I tend to write about characters who aren’t good people. They simply recognize a duty which is theirs and theirs alone to fulfill. To understand this you must have seen “Schindler’s List.” By any measurement Schindler was _not_ a good man. He just happened to be _not_ a good man at a time when the world was filled with truly evil men and now he is honored. Had he been a good man he could not have done what he did to save all of those people.

*So far, what has been your favorite scene to write?

The scene where Lesedi is lecturing the kids with him about the Statue of Liberty and what it is to be an American. Here is a survivor of Apartheid who watched our world from the outside lecturing people who were born here on what it means to be an American and the philosophy of bad people known as “rational self-interest.” There was such passion in his voice. I can only hope I captured that passion as well on the written page.

*What lessons have you learned since becoming a writer? Do you have any tips for new writers?

The standard advice you hear is to read read read then write write write. While this is true as far as it goes, it is really a short step on a long road. You can also watch watch watch then write write write, but if you choose to either read or watch only the popular stuff, it won’t make you a better writer.

You can find truly great writing in some of the least known places. Watch the first 4 seasons of “Babylon 5” and really pay attention to the dialog and story line, not the characters themselves. “The West Wing” is an exception to the rule. This is one time where really great writing existed on a popular show. Again, you have to pay attention to the dialog and story lines instead of the characters to grow as a writer from it.

Most of today’s and yesterday’s popular television shows have really bad writing. I would put long lived shows like “Monk” in that category. Really popular shows tend to have one or two extremely popular characters. The writing team starts to serve the character’s popularity instead of the quality of the script or story.

When it comes to great social commentary one surprising show is “Barney Miller” from the 1970s. It was a comedy yet it had very deep social commentary which is just as relevant today as it was back then, sadly. I will never forget the story line about the man from the slums they arrested counterfeiting $1 bills. He would only counterfeit something like $146/month, the same amount he would have gotten on welfare, because he wanted to work for a living. Exploring the human condition in such a manner is a timeless and powerful thing.

*If you were to recommend your books to a stranger, which book would you advise them to start with? Why?

While each of my novels can be read stand alone, if you want to follow the story from beginning to end:

Infinite Exposure

Lesedi – The Greatest Lie Ever Told

John Smith – Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars

*Do you have any extras you’d like to share, like a teaser about an upcoming new release,  a summary of a deleted scene, or a teaser about a surprising plot twist or character?

No. The beauty of being an Indie writer is you get to tell the entire story and release it when it is done. The things you ask for are part of the large cut pile which happens when working with a publisher.

*Now it’s time to get to know you! What are some of your favorite books to read?

I used to be an avid reader, but now not so much. During my youth I read “The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant” (first 3), “The Wheel of Time” and “A Song of Ice and Fire” but now I read sparingly, preferring to re-watch some of the greatest writing ever put to DVD. Having said that, I recently read both “Marsh Island” and “Blind Marsh” by Oliver F. Chase and they were fantastic. If you liked the Mickey Spillane stories or television shows about Mike Hammer then these 2 books are for you. I also read “Relic” and “Relic II” from Jonathan Brookes. Given the current news stories about cloning traits of woolly mammoths’ traits into elephants I found these books both well written and extremely timely. “A Dangerous Element” by Gregory Lamb was a great story about the Stuxnet virus. It has made me want to watch the “Zero Days” movie.

*What about television shows? Movies?

“The West Wing,” “Babylon 5” and “Battlestar Galactica” (the new one) for examples of incredible story writing.

“Downton Abbey” for examples of great character writing in a period. Normally I’m not a huge fan of writing which serves character, but, because this was a period piece and we all knew large portions of the history being covered it had to focus on character and the story of “common” people.

*Is there a book that you have read that you feel has made a big impact on your life? Why?

We are the sum of our history. When our history is gone we are basically nothing. This was the underlying theme of “John Smith.” Survivors who could have continued as they were, but had a driving need to find out what they really were.

There is only one story I could point to which made me want to be a writer. Stephen King’s “Word Processor of the Gods.” It is a short, magazine length piece which set me on my path.

*Can readers find you at any live events, such as book signings or conventions?

No. I am not drawn to those things.

* If you had to sum up your life as a writer in ten words, what would you say?

I listened to the characters and wrote down their stories.


Young Adult Science Fiction Feature: Age of Order by Julian North @jnorthauthorAOE


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Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian


age of order

Release Date: 2/6/17

Inequality is a science. Giant machines maintain order. All people are not created equal.

Daniela Machado is offered a chance to escape the deprivation of Bronx City through a coveted slot at the elite Tuck School. There, among the highborn of Manhattan, she discovers an unimaginable world of splendor and greed. But her opportunity is part of a darker plan, and Daniela soon learns that those at society’s apex will stop at nothing to keep power for themselves. She may have a chance to change the world, if it doesn’t change her first.

Age of Order is a novel that explores the meaning of merit and inequality. Fans of the Hunger Games, Red Rising, and Divergent will enjoy this world of deception and intrigue, where the downtrodden must fight for a better future.

“Both YA and adult readers will be transfixed by this novel” — Kirkus (Starred Review)

FREE with Kindle Unlimited!

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Excerpt:

CHAPTER ONE

A gunshot pierced the night.

A hollow ring echoed in its wake. The sound was familiar: the bullet had struck the impenetrable armor of an enforcement drone. The noise declared that anyone within earshot should flee the tattered streets. Most of the denizens of the barrio heeded the warning. A few did not. I joined the tide of those that ran.

The machine rolled onto the avenue like a wolf among sheep. Flashing globes scrutinized the scene beneath the drone’s rotating turret, an artificial gaze seeing, recording, targeting. Caterpillar-tracked wheels dragged the metal monster’s alloy chassis across the cracked asphalt, its bulk brimming with spray guns, antennas, jammers and the devil knew what else.

“You are ordered to clear the streets and return to your homes,” commanded a reverberating voice. “The Five Cities Protection Authority has authorized the use of corrective force to restore calm to this area.”

Another machine appeared behind the first, a bitter twin of its companion. A dozen rays of light flickered from the monstrosities, forming a latticework of ominous crimson. A beam grazed my back. It caused a hint of heat on my spine, but a torrent of terror in my heart. The warning was clear: We know who you are, Daniela Machado. You are dead if we wish it.

I ran faster, cutting in front of the ragged shell of a man galloping beside me. He was a dweller of the barrio: hopeless eyes, gaunt arms, and a torn, sleeveless undershirt. I dashed across the street, putting his body in the path of the finder beam that had glued itself to my backside. I felt guilty about it. But people needed me. That was life in my part of the Five Cities.

“Puta,” he shouted when he realized what I’d done. He reached for my mane of ink-dark hair, its mass woven into a tight tail behind my head, but only his fingertips brushed against me. I was always fast—faster than anyone else on my school’s track team. Faster even than the boys. Long legs and a lean frame helped.

I dashed towards the dilapidated collection of storefronts hugging the fringes of the worn avenue, the rusted metal gates firmly closed, lean-to homes piled on their concrete roofs. Makeshift cardboard dwellings crowded the sidewalk. I ran for one of the lightless alleys between the buildings. Lurkers lived in those narrow corridors as surely as rats lived in the sewer, but I’d rather face them than the machines. I leaped towards the darkness.

A finder beam latched onto me as I sailed through the air, the comparative safety of the alley as tantalizingly close as candy in a shop window. I imagined the tight little dot on my leg, hot and hungry. I could almost touch the alley wall. But not quite. The hulking metal slave fired.


Youtube Book Trailer:


 


About the Author:

julian north

I’ve been writing since I could grab a pencil (remember those?) Then I had kids. Not much time for writing anymore. Until they started school… in New York City. I’m not from here, and the tumult of that experience inspired me. AGE OF ORDER grew from frustration, anger, and hope. Now I write what I’m feeling, and let the rest flow from there. Join my mailing list at www.juliannorth.com to recieve a free short story set in the same world as AGE OF ORDER.

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Post-Apocalyptic Feature: Lethal Seasons by Alice Sabo @Alice_Sabo


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Scifi / Post-Apocalyptic


lethal-seasons

 A Changed World Book 1

In the near future, a virus has whittled down the human race. The remaining population struggles to survive in a world ravaged by extreme weather. A reticent government provides food, vaccines and keeps the ultra-fast trains running. Cities are empty, farms deserted, factories abandoned. The world is running on a skeleton crew.

Nick lives at High Meadow med center. The people there stay hopeful as they work toward self-sufficiency. He counts survivors for Angus’s research. He wants his life to stay as normal as possible in a world he barely understands.

Wisp is a fugitive. He lives off the land, moving from town to town, hiding his extrasensory skills. He is a Finder and will accept the right kind of job. Silence and subterfuge keep him alive.

Lily is a young girl with long brown hair and eyes the color of ripe cherries. She is searching for her brother. They were separated while fleeing armed men. She is part of something that started before her birth.

When these three lives intersect, a chain reaction of death and violence will change the course of the future and impact the very survival of the human race.

Free on Kindle Unlimited!

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Excerpt:

“In what we would come to call Year Zero, a deadly virus was released in early fall by a madman. The records for that year are suspect, but the number of dead appears consistent with my own observations. Approximately 40% of the population died worldwide. We were not equipped to handle such a broad scale calamity. Nor were we prepared when it returned the following summer.”

History of a Changed World, Angus T. Moss

Nick grabbed his gear and headed for the shelter cubbies. High Meadow was one of the older style stations, built just as the world was coming to grips with climate change. It was barely far enough underground to remain in operation. Despite the thick walls and storm proofing, Nick could hear the howl of the wind and the pounding of the rain. But no thunder. He breathed a sigh of relief. Probably no tornados tonight

The cell-sized room was immaculate and smelled of antiseptic. The National Train Authority people were very thorough. Proud to have jobs in a world that had no industries left. He tossed his bedroll on the shiny metal shelf that passed for a bed, hoping the waterproofing held. It was a relief to be still for a minute. He’d been traveling for six days and the ultra-fast trains took a toll. He peeled off his wet clothing and dried off with the towel he carried in his pack. The clothes probably wouldn’t dry tonight, but he draped them on the row of coat hooks that lined one wall anyway.

He sat on the shelf with a groan. He’d been gone longer than planned. There’d been some unexpected complications. Things that he wasn’t sure he wanted to talk to Angus about. Nick had been gathering information for Angus’s history book for the past three years. It gave him a purpose. A reason to go out into the world and talk to people. He was a man that needed those things—purpose, reason, order. Without them, he was too easily lost in regrets and sorrow for all the people he’d lost. Whenever the ghosts and darkness came calling, he got out his pack and bedroll and went searching for new communities. The world had shattered, and Angus was trying to knit it back together with cobwebs and good intentions. It was a cause he could easily support.


Youtube Book Teaser:


 


About the Author:

alice-sabo

Alice Sabo is the author of the post-apocalyptic series A Changed World, the space fantasy series Transmutation and traditional mystery series Asher Blaine Mysteries. She lives in Asheville, NC, where she gardens and tries to outwit the squirrels.

For more information on upcoming books see her blog: www.alicesabo.com

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Dystopian Featured Book: INSIDE the Wall by A. Lotus @thegr8lotus


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Dystopian, Sci-Fi Suspense


inside-the-wallThe War in the Wall Series Book 1

What if everyone just stopped caring? What sort of world would we create for future generations?

Letha and Nathan were best friends just as were their mothers before them. Soon, however, two dictators overthrow the city, take the children captive, kill the opposing parents and then brainwash, train, and sculpt these children into soldiers. At first, Letha rejects the new life she leads, staying strong only to protect those younger than her. She is then given the ultimate task: kill Nathan; If she does not, everyone, including herself, will die.

In a world where no one cares, Letha struggles against herself to do the right thing. Ultimately, she has to make a choice, save herself or drown in the codependency of one young boy who has become brainwashed and hardened into the dictator’s web. No matter what choice she makes, she will have to lose someone that she loves.

FREE on Kindle Unlimited!

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Author’s Website


Excerpt:

“Aunt Deedee,” Freckles said, stammering.

“Shut up!”

“But Auntie—” He stopped doing pushups. “Don’t you love me, anymore?”

“Stop it.” Her eyes watered. “You have to do twenty more pushups before dinner.”

Maybe she did still care.

“But—” Freckles recoiled as his aunt threatened to hit him with the butt of her gun.

“Shut up, Freckles. Do your pushups. She isn’t your Aunt anymore,” I said.

Officer Lindsey stood a few feet away and grinned. “Heart, why are you causing trouble?”

“Well, she isn’t his aunt, anymore. She’s only interested in saving herself. She won’t even speak to her nephew.”

“And, not like you, who just came back from a battle. How many old school mates do you think you killed?” Lindsey asked.

I froze. My eyes locked with Deedee’s. Images of my old school exploding infiltrated my mind. I’d tossed the grenade at the neutrals—to get them out of hiding. When it exploded, little kids flew back screaming. I was no different from Deedee. I shook my head, forcing the images to disappear. No, I was not like Deedee. I did what I had to, to protect those who still had a chance at life.

Officer Lindsey walked away.

Full of adrenaline, I picked up the speed of my pushups.

“Everyone can leave except Freckles,” Aunt Deedee looked at him. “You owe me another twenty.”

“But Aunt Deedee, I’m tired.”

Deedee kicked Freckles in the rib cage. “Do it, now!”

“That’s overkill,” I said. “Don’t do that again.”

Officer Lindsey stopped and turned to watch the scene. I didn’t care. Deedee wasn’t hurting my Freckles.

Guards approached, ready to shoot me. Officer Lindsey put her arm up and all the approaching guards stopped in their tracks. What was she protecting me from? Death would be a blessing.

“Fifteen more, you maggot.” Deedee kicked Freckles again. He curled into a ball.

My fists clenched.

“Stop it, Aunt Deedee.”

She kicked him again. “You’re hurting me. Why are you doing this to me?” Freckles put his arms up in defeat but his aunt still kicked him.

“I said don’t kick him again!” I growled a sound deep within my soul.

“You mind your business,” Deedee retorted.

Freckles looked at me. “Make her stop! Heart, make her stop!”

Aunt Deedee pointed her rifle at Freckles. “Finish or di—”

Deedee fell to the ground, dead.

I still had my gun pointed. I couldn’t move. Spur took the gun from my hand.

I looked at Spur.

“I told her not to kick him again.” I stumbled over my words.  “I told her—”

Spur put his finger up to my mouth.

Freckles looked at his dead aunt. “You were going to kill me!” Rage entered him. He kicked his aunt’s dead body. He kicked and kicked and screamed as if she could hear him. “I hate you, I hate you!”

Officer Lindsey clapped.

“Congratulations, Heart. You got control of your man. He’s just perfect.” Officer Lindsey pointed at Freckles and clapped her hands. “Bravo.”


Youtube Book Trailer:


 


Dystopian Feature: Basically Frightened: Yet Another Slice of Post-Apocalyptia by Vasily Pugh @VasilyPugh


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Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic, Dark End-of-the-World Comedy


basically-frightened

It’s the Post-Apocalypse and our ordinary hero is out of Mars Bars. Time to explore the world outside. On his journey he will encounter doctors, psychopaths, failed celebrities, people whose love of a certain sci-fi series has gone too far, psychopaths (again), a leopard, amateur archers keen to hunt human prey, deceit, love (maybe), Elvis Presley DVDs, and a world ravaged by a terrible pandemic. Join a very different set of characters in the most unpleasant circumstances; you’ll giggle, thrill, chill and jump up in the air shouting ‘Huzzah!’ Welcome to a new kind of apocalypse.

Free on Kindle Unlimited!

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Excerpt:

I must make the reader aware of the landscape I find as I head towards the outskirts of my town. It is a ghastly and surreal sight, bodies entwined with shopping trolleys, shiny BMWs upside down with spurts of vegetation breaking out next to them, sometimes even in their wheelbase. There are animals wandering around the scene with vague interest, a few unkempt dogs, a Shire horse, a chicken and a cheetah that I am sure is called Leonard and was housed at the local zoo. What is utterly unexpected is the union that has been created between these very different creatures, kind of an end of the world ‘Animals of Farthing Wood’ where the most unlikely of beasts seem to have adapted to each others’ differences. The cheetah doesn’t chase the chicken, the Shire horse protects the dogs and a few cats who have joined the mix are cleaning themselves in that aloof manner that they always have. I am not entirely sure what the social hierarchy is here or who is charge – you’d always imagine Leonard the cheetah with his exotic fur and rapid turn of pace to be a leader, but he is oddly diffident and accepts his place in this weird egalitarian system. Very ‘Animal Farm’ but without any political overtones. Just a bunch of animals who have created a bond based on self-preservation.

Although this is a heart-warming sight that Walt Disney could’ve made a film out of, I am aware that the animals – in fact most of the ones I’ve seen recently – are well fed. There are two simple camps, the bouncing survivors bulking up on scavenged carrion and the dead ones whose flesh has probably been used to feed some lucky colleague. I am also not blind to the fact that the human bodies that are visible are mostly stripped carcasses devoid of tissue, skin and organs and I am under no illusions that these teams of roaming beasts have their bellies full of the missing items. It’s not quite as gruesome as you might think yet it is still sobering and I am glad that in the Leonard the cheetah vs. Quiet Cool battle I’m going to be on the wining side.

There are many fields left unharvested and food rotting at its source. Due to the suddenness of events and the strange love looters have for things that are in no way beneficial to survival (see item 4. of my earlier list) there are modest provisions in shops and supermarkets though these supplies are naturally dwindling. I had often vowed to go on a diet in the creaking old world, but suddenly the idea of one day having my daily calorie intake cut dramatically doesn’t fill me with joy. It’s only when you have an abundance of something that you truly begin to despise it and at this moment in time I feel ashamed of some of the food I wasted years before (I am still torturing myself over half a pasty that was deposited in bin in Leeds by yours truly). This is once again a reminder that a collective, a supportive team working for each other, is of more benefit than isolating oneself even if that does mean getting used to someone’s snoring (assuming we’re in dormitories – not sure if that is the usual way these things are done), unusual personal hygiene routines and people telling anecdotes that don’t go anywhere. I dread the small talk and the painful introductions like you’re at the first day of school, but I suppose I will have to make these sacrifices if I want to rebuild society in some way. Let it be understood that, despite my complaints, I am a fairly convivial person and can get on famously with most people. And there is also the thought that I might just barter for what I need and return to my humble abode*

*Mrs. Murphy used to tell us that you should never start a sentence with ‘and’. However, I imagine that an apocalyptic scenario and the lack of grammar fascists gives me a little bit of license as to how I want my syntax to appear. If a university head of English is alive and I encounter him or her, I promise to correct my mistakes or perhaps start a new world of grammatical rules where all can be free of the tyranny of the past.


About the Author:

vasily-pugh

Somewhere on Bhutan’s verdant pastures, writer/shepherd Vasily Pugh tends his flock hoping one day to be in a position to drop the ‘shepherd’ part of his job description. With inspiration drawn from popular culture and nods to some clever references he read about on Wikipedia, Pugh likes the idea of twisting and turning the all too common genre fodder out there. His first book, ‘Basically Frightened’, is the Post-Apocalyptic book literally no-one is talking about. It takes the usual gun-toting, zombie-beheading nonsense and brings a measure of the mundane that we can all relate to. With the knowledge that his writing career gives him the luxury of only having to work 60 hours or so in another job to maintain the work, Vasily Pugh is literally bursting with ideas for books, short-stories and novellas.

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